Pears take on an eye-catching crimson cast when poached with vibrant cranberries. Their pleasing tartness can be countered by a sliver of rich goat cheese or a dollop of creme fraiche or yogurt.
Martha Stewart Living, November 2007
- 8 small pears, such as Seckel or Forelle, peeled, stems intact
- 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 large strip (4 to 5 inches) orange peel
- 1 large strip (4 to 5 inches) lemon peel
- 5 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 3/4 cups (10 ounces) fresh cranberries
- 1 tea bag, such as green tea or fruit tea
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
- Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, or soft goat cheese, for serving
- Place pears in a saucepan large enough to hold them snugly. Add enough water to barely cover them (about 4 cups). Add sugar, cinnamon, citrus peels, honey, and lemon juice. Using the tip of a paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds into pan, and toss in pod. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Reduce heat, and simmer gently until pears are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add fresh cranberries, and simmer until cranberries are soft but not mushy, about 3 minutes more.
- Use a spoon to transfer pears to a dish. Spoon cranberries and syrup around pears. Add tea bag and dried cranberries if using. Let cool for 15 minutes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- Before serving, remove vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, citrus peels, and tea bag. Transfer pears to plates with some of the cranberries, syrup, and a dollop of yogurt, creme fraiche, or cheese.
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